No boo hoo for Microhoo

The almost-but-not-quite takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft leaves the Net in a good spot. Most folks know I am not a big fan of the MS mega-giant in the great northwest. I don't like their products, their tactics or their role in the development of the computing world or the Net.

I am a fan of Y, and use their mail for personal use, have a MY Yahoo page and use them as my jump-off point for the many places I surf daily.

A merger would have made MS stronger, but at the expense of Y.

Will there be others courting Y? Perhaps. But chances are much greater for MS to go after another target. Perhaps AOL will find comfort in the MS family? That would lift MS in some ways, although AOL's star is much dimmer these days. Long gone are the online newbies who cut their Internet teeth on the simple AOL kind-of-but-not-really-the-real-Internet service. They look a lot like Y these days, and are trying hard to keep customers.

I know many folks who still hang on to their AOL e-mail accounts, although anyone can get one for free these days. Remember the floppy discs and CDs that clogged your snail mailbox only a short decade ago? That's when the Net was still a wild frontier and customers were wandering aimlessly, waiting to be snagged by the giant from Reston, VA.

The big players today -- Google, Yahoo and Microsoft -- will continue to duke it out for online ad dollars and loyal customers. I'd be surprised if MS didn't make a move to strengthen themselves before the end of the year. I just hope Y holds firm.

Happy retirement, Mr. Gates.